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Watch again: Queen gives speech as she opens UK parliament after Boris Johnson election victory

Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech in the chamber during the State Opening of Parliament
Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech in the chamber during the State Opening of Parliament Copyright APAaron Chown
Copyright AP
By Caroline Mortimer
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Boris Johnson's new government will set out its legislative agenda after its election triumph.


Queen Elizabeth II has opened the UK parliament today following the Conservative party's landslide victory in the snap general election.

She laid the Government's legislative programme in a speech in the House of Lords as custom at the state opening of parliament.

It comes just two months since the last Queen's Speech in October where Johnson unsuccessfully tried to prorogue parliament to force a de facto no deal Brexit.

Johnson's Conservative Party won an 80-strong majority in the 650-seat house in last week's election on a pledge to "get Brexit done'' by leaving the European Union on 31 January and a broad promise to end years of public spending austerity.

Now Johnson has to turn his election pledges into political reality.

The Queen's Speech - written by the government but read out by the monarch from atop a golden throne in the House of Lords - includes several dozen bills that the government plans to pass in the coming year.

Read more: Boris Johnson will finally pass a Brexit deal this week — but EU divorce is far from 'done'

She said the focus would be on carrying on with Brexit and said the government would pursue a free trade agreement with the EU.

The government will also have to pass legislation to adopt all the existing EU legislation and regulations in order to ensure they are carried over when the UK leaves the EU on 31st January.

She spoke about the government's commitment to getting the UK out of the European Union as well as several other domestic policies such as restoring talks to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland, raising the minimum wage and reforming the NHS.

For the queen's second visit this year, the pomp and circumstance was toned down. The 93-year-old monarch travelled to Parliament in a car, rather than a horse-drawn carriage, and wore a hat rather than a diamond-studded crown.

This Queen's speech was a more pared down affair as the monarch opted not to wear the crownAFP

Meanwhile, Downing Street announced it would be winding up its Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXEU) on 31st January and hoped it would be able to reassign its civil servants to other roles.

In a statement that said: "The Department for Exiting the European Union will be wound up once the UK leaves the EU on the 31 January.

"DExEU staff have been spoken to today. We are very grateful for all their work and we will help everyone to find new roles."

But the move may be seen as premature by some as the UK still has to negotiate a free trade deal with the EU for when the transition period ends in December 2020.

Johnson has suggested he will refuse to ask for another extension to the transition period - which can be agreed for up to two years - and will instead opt for no deal if he cannot get a deal he wants.

Read more:

Can Boris Johnson really strike a free trade deal with the EU in 2020? | Euronews answers

Brexit Guide: Where are we now -- and how did we get here?

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